July 7, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama kicked off his first Twitter town hall with - what else? - a tweet. Using a laptop set up on a lectern in the East Room of the White House, Obama typed this message: "In order to reduce the deficit, what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep?" The tweet set the tone for the hour-long town hall focused on jobs and the economy, and hosted by Twitter, the social-media service. The White House sees social media as an opportunity for the president to interact with Americans directly, particularly the younger and more tech-savvy part of the electorate, as his reelection campaign ramps up. Twitter selected the questions for the president from among the thousands of inquiries submitted from people across the country, including Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner, who asked Obama: "After embarking on a record spending binge that left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs?"
May 19, 2011
Gov. Christie loves a good, large number that he can use to drop jaws. He trotted out a new one Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Monroe Township: $3.25 billion. That's how much he said taxpayers will be forced to dish out if Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D., Camden) has her way with a bill to cap the payouts for unused sick and vacation days at $7,500. Christie wants to end the practice of paying government workers for, as he says, not being sick - and he wants to end it immediately.
May 8, 2011 |
Nearly four years after a fire doomed Moorestown's fortresslike town hall, the only thing agreed upon is that the vacant concrete structure will be demolished in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the government of the wealthy Burlington County community operates out of five locations, including hard-to-find industrial park offices that have no signs or American flags marking them as public offices. Twenty proposals have come and gone. Now a $19 million plan for an all-inclusive municipal center is being debated.
April 20, 2011 |
JACKSON, N.J. - A jam-packed crowd of senior citizens laughed and gasped Tuesday as Gov. Christie delivered a 40-minute, point-by-point condemnation of the Democratic-controlled "do-nothing Legislature" that may have served as a preview of election season. Christie began his morning town hall meeting in the clubhouse of a 55-and-older development by counting the number of times per month the Assembly and Senate have held voting sessions. (Usually there have been one or two.) He unveiled timelines that contrasted his initiatives over recent months to those of legislators.
April 1, 2011 |
President Obama will visit a Bucks County wind-turbine plant next Wednesday to highlight the administration's policy of diversifying the nation's energy sources and reducing reliance on imported oil, a White House official said Friday. The president plans to stop at Gamesa Technology Corp. in Fairless Hills, Pa., where he will hold a town-hall meeting with workers about building a clean-energy future for the 21st century. Gamesa employs about 300 people at the facility, built on the site of a former U.S. Steel factory, and manufactures turbines used in the generation of wind-powered electricity.
March 29, 2011 |
HAMMONTON, N.J. - When the governor called on the "guy with gray hair and a mustache," and the man announced himself as a school superintendent in Stratford, a murmur went through the crowd. Was another of Gov. Christie's famous fights with educators brewing at this town-hall meeting Tuesday in rural New Jersey? Nope. "First, I want to say we very much appreciate that you increased school state aid this year," Superintendent Albert K. Brown said. Stratford, a Camden County district that gets about half of its $10 million budget from the state, saw a 2 percent increase in aid this year, and Brown said the additional money would help him avoid raising taxes.
March 28, 2011 |
YAMAMOTO, Japan - The funeral for Chieko Mori's daughter and granddaughter was an affront to Japanese sacred customs - the two were placed in simple wooden coffins that soldiers lowered into a ditch in a vegetable patch as a backhoe poured in earth, burying them alongside scores of other bodies. Such an unceremonious disposal of the dead would be unthinkable in Japan in normal times. But the March 11 earthquake and tsunami have left a huge backlog of thousands of bodies in makeshift morgues, leaving local governments no choice but to bury them in hastily dug mass graves.
March 15, 2011 |
WOODBRIDGE, N.J. - Personal and political worlds collided at Gov. Christie's town hall meeting Tuesday when a microphone was handed to former Gov. Jim McGreevey's father. Referring to a comment last week at a similar meeting in which a female supporter called Christie "hot and sexy," Jack McGreevey asked: "What was [your wife] Mary Pat's reaction when you were called 'hot and sexy?' " Then he flashed Christie a thumbs-up. Christie and the crowd of several hundred broke into laughter.
March 10, 2011 |
HOPATCONG, N.J. - The Chris Christie road show is part Justin Bieber concert, with police officers locking doors to keep overeager fans at bay. It is part Roman Colosseum, with the masses hoping for the gladiator guv to slay some unsuspecting opponent - senior citizen, high school senior, no matter. And sometimes - as on Wednesday, when Gov. Christie held his eighth town-hall meeting of 2011 - it is a straight-up lovefest. Put it this way: A woman who asked about affordable housing prefaced her question by calling the governor "hot and sexy.